(Continued from The Butcher III)
Kagwiria is the forty five year old woman who takes care of Barack. She has been working for Hannah for slightly under a year now, having joined the family shortly after Barack was born. She sees her twenty-two year old boss like her own daughter. In fact, Kagwiria’s first born child is twenty six years old, having gotten him when she was nineteen. Kagwiria is very protective Hannah and clashed once with Fredrick when the latter tried to beat up Hannah in her presence. Kagwiria is a tough, no-nonsense woman that even Fredrick fears. Adrian finds that out the tough way.
“Who are you and why are you running?” she asks, glaring at him with blazing eyes. “What have you been stealing?”
“I am a friend of Hannah. I am running because I am late for work. Now, get out of my way,” Adrian responds, trying to sound authoritative. The woman is clearly a domestic worker, and is probably the one who takes care of Barack when Hannah goes to work. So why is he afraid of a house help? He tries to push his way through but Kagwiria grabs him by the collar and drags him towards the house.
“You will leave when I am satisfied that you are telling the truth. And since only Karimi can tell me that, let’s go talk to her.”
Karimi is Hannah’s middle name.
“Is this how you treat her guests? You are putting your job at risk woman.”
Kagwiria does not respond. Humiliated, Adrian tries to fight back but he soon discovers that he is no match for the woman. When he slaps her, she responds by smacking him on the face with her palm; to say that he sees stars is an understatement. He feels as if his cheek bones have been mashed into baby food. The woman is not only huge, she is also strong.
When Kagwiria screamed, Adrian assumed that she is a softie like most other women, in spite of her size. But Kagwiria is as strong as any man; probably more than most. She stands at six feet three inches tall and has huge body that is, surprisingly, both feminine and muscular. Her wide hips and ample bust give the impression of a fat and soft woman, but her hands, legs and thighs are all muscle, no doubt from hard days spent in the farms.
She takes him into the house and starts calling out Hannah’s name. When her boss does not respond, Kagwiria goes checking all the rooms while still dragging Adrian by the collar of his T-shirt. When she gets to the master-bedroom, she knocks the door once, waits for a minute, knocks again and then pushes her way in. When she sees Hannah and Barack still on the bed, she releases Adrian and rushes to the bedside. It is unusual for Hannah to be asleep at this hour, so something must be wrong.
Adrian grabs the opportunity and dashes out, but he has just gotten to the front door when Kagwiria starts screaming again, no doubt having discovered that her boss is dead. Adrian tries to run out but he is intercepted by a rowdy group of neighbors. Some of them go in to find out what was happening and when word spreads out that Hannah is dead, the furious mob descends upon the hapless Adrian with kicks, slaps and fist blows. Fortunately, someone with sense calls the police, and they arrive right on time to rescue Adrian from a certain death. By the time they arrive, however, he I already unconscious. The police rush him to hospital where he is left with one police officer standing guard. He is now the prime suspect in the murder of Hannah and Barack.
Fredrick is at the meat shop when he is “informed” about his wife’s death. Feigning surprise and anger, he rushes to the house leaving his employees in-charge of the butchery. He finds the police at the scene and demands to know what is happening. When he is informed that Hannah is dead, he starts wailing dramatically. Some of the neighbors who know how shabbily he treated Hannah start pointing and making faces at him.
As the bodies are removed from the house and taken to the police van, Fredrick weeps even more loudly. By this time Alice and Jessica have arrived, and they are also crying loudly, as are several of the on-lookers who knew Hannah.
The police round up Fredrick, Kagwiria, Alice, Jessica and several neighbors and take them to the police station for questioning. Fredrick’s mistress, Marion, is a lawyer, but Fredrick resists the urge to call her. If he calls a lawyer he will look suspicious, he tells himself over and over again. If he becomes a suspect, then he will call her. But for now things are going according to plan, so there is no need to panic. The police have seen the jiko, but they seem to have concluded that Hannah and Barack were murdered. But since they already have their suspect, they will not be looking too hard for another. Fredrick knows that he is safe.
The detectives do not waste too much time on Alice, Jessica and most of the neighbors, especially after it becomes apparent that they know nothing. They however take interest in Fredrick’s immediate door neighbor, a single girl called Joy. Joy mentions that she did hear Hannah and Fredrick fighting, but she also points out that the two “fight almost every night.” That catches the attention of the lead detective, Inspector Chebet.
“Did you hear what they were fighting about?” Inspector Chebet asks.
“It is always the same thing. Fredrick comes into the house and a few minutes later he starts shouting at Hannah calling her a prostitute and accusing her of cheating on him. Then he starts beating her and she starts screaming. It usually takes half an hour before everything goes quiet. We have complained about the noise several times to the caretaker but nothing happens. I have been considering moving to another estate.”
“Have you ever reported this to the chief or the police station?”
“As who? You cannot meddle in the affairs of two people who have exchanged body fluids. I might go to the chief and then they both deny or say they were not fighting but having rough sex. Hannah was not a child so I told myself that if she wanted to report to the police she would.”
“Okay, did you hear Fredrick leave last night?”
“Honestly, no. But someone opened the door from the outside…”
“How did you know it was from the outside?”
“I heard his footsteps outside, and then he opened the door.”
“How did you know it was a he?”
“It was an assumption. A few minutes after that person opened the door, another man came and knocked then started calling Hannah and asking for Fredrick’s phone, which Fredrick had apparently left on the table. Someone opened the door and a male voice rebuked whoever had just come. I assumed that this male voice belonged to the same person who had opened the door earlier and gotten into the house.”
“And none of the two men was Fredrick?”
“No, none of them was Fredrick. I know Fredrick’s voice. But the one who came later claimed to have been sent by Fredrick.”
“What happened next?”
“Nothing. After the man who was asking for the phone went away, the other one closed the door and went back inside. I heard a squabble downstairs and I thought I heard Fredrick’s voice but I cannot be sure. After that I did not hear anything else until Kagwiria started screaming this morning.”
“You said that the man who was inside the house rebuked the one outside. What exactly did he say?”
“I cannot remember the exact words but he said something to the effect that Hannah was asleep and she shouldn’t be bothered.”
“Okay, is there something else that you can remember that we have not covered?”
“Okay. If you remember anything please give us a call.”
“I definitely will.”
Fredrick watches as Joy leaves the interrogation room. For the first time, he notices how good looking she is. Her face is not beautiful in a convectional way, but she is attractive in an interestingly wholesome way. That fact is accentuated by her lovely curves and the sweet scent of perfume that she leaves behind as she walks by. Fredrick feels a stirring within himself, and he finds himself thinking that she would make a lovely wife. Although Hannah is now dead, and although he has been sleeping with Marion for five months now, Fredrick has no intention of marrying Marion. She might be financially stable but she is too old, clingy and desperate for his liking. He needs a woman like Joy: young, self-confident and optimistic about life. The only challenge that Joy will present is that she knows him as a wife-batterer. He has to find a way to convince her that if he was violent towards Hannah, it was Hannah’s fault; and the fact that a man was found in the house with Hannah will cement that fact.
From where he was seated, Fredrick has heard everything that Joy told the detective. He did not listen to the other interviews because Hannah’s mother Alice and sister Jessica were seated where he is now seated, and he knew they did not want him anywhere near them. Jessica was the third to last witness to be interviewed, and when the detective let her go she and her mother left the station. That allowed Fredrick to come here and listen to the second last interview, which was Joy’s. He will be the last to be interviewed. Joy’s testimony fits neatly into the narrative that he wants to feed the police. He will admit that he has an affair with another woman and claim that he and Hannah squabbled over that when Hannah saw nude photos of him and Marion in his phone. He is counting on Mike to testify that he left the house at night, and Marion to back that up.
But now in Joy he has a bonus witness who is probably even more credible than those two. Joy has just told the police that another man was in the house with Hannah. Fredrick is happy with the way things are going. Very soon Adrian will go to jail for Hannah’s murder, and he, Fredrick, will be free to continue selling meat and chasing women. His freedom will be used to convince Joy to be his wife, and together they will have babies to replace Barack.
He is called into the interrogation just as another thought enters his mind: it will be difficult for Adrian to exonerate himself from Hannah’s murder. But if he gets a good lawyer you never know what might happen. To eliminate that chance, all Fredrick needs to do is to kill him while he is in hospital. That way, he will never tell his story, and everybody will assume that he is the one who killed Hannah.
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Image by Public Domain Pictures from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/knife-stabbing-stab-kill-murder-316655/
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